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No Retreat No Surrender

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This is a rather obscure movie that starred Jean Claude Van Damme. In this movie Van Damme is not the chief character. Instead the main character is a teenage boy that decides he wants to learn the ways of kung fu so that he can stand up to the bullies that always pick on him. Training at first is hit and miss by this young trainee; that is until the spirit of his idol Bruce Lee appears to help him. From that point on, its one arm pushups, one legged kicks and all other manner of odd training techniques on the road to excellence.

The training sequences are done largely to an upbeat vocal score. As the impossible is done time and time again the song "It's no retreat, no surrender" echoes in the background.

In the scenes climatic fight scene, the one who was before a weak training pupil takes on one of Russia's greatest fighter's as played by Jean Claude Van Damme. Before this match Van Damme has licked one Karate school's best three fighters. As this match with the film's hero proceeds, Van Damme perches himself high on the ropes in a most painful looking split as he bounds up and down. With a snarl and swift movements forward, Van Damme attacks with a fury. This time however slow but steady will be the way to success as his adversary lands punch and kick combinations until the mighty fighter falls from exhaustion.

This movie puts Van Damme in the opposite role of where he usually is in most of his films. He plays the unbeatable villain rather than the one in a million challenger. No Retreat No Surrender spawned a few sequels, but without Van Damme they did not obtain widespread showing on TV or on video.


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